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The Ohio State loss isn’t just going away for the Michigan Wolverines.
The loss knocked Michigan out of the Big Ten championship game and kept the Wolverines from getting into the College Football Playoff. It also revealed flaws in a team that barely experienced any struggles all season long.
“This is one of those games where you learn from it,” junior safety Josh Metellus said. “It is what it is. It didn’t go our way, we know that. We know we have to fix certain things, certain things that we didn’t fix earlier because it didn’t happen before. Now we know heading into this next bowl game.”
While the Ohio State loss stings for the Michigan players, it helped to illuminate the bond this team shared. After the defeat, the Wolverines were stronger for it.
“I actually learned how close this team is,” Metellus said. “When stuff like that happens, a lot of people tend to break down and shy away, trying to get into their little bubbles. But we came in Monday, everybody had each other’s back, everybody was pushing each other to keep going. We (knew) we had one more game left, and we can’t dwell on the past.”
The Wolverines won’t have too long to think about what happened in Columbus. Michigan is set to face Florida for the fourth time in a bowl game. The two teams will play in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl.
The Pembroke Pines, Florida native, Metellus said he knows many players on the Florida roster. He’s been watching the Gators throughout the season and has some familiarity with what they will bring to the table.
“It’s always good to play guys you know, especially on a bigger stage,” Metellus said. “We played each other in high school, now we’re moving up to bigger and better things. It’s good having that competition level you had growing up your whole life. It’s one of those things you want to take pride in.”
Metellus doesn’t want to lose to the Gators because he doesn’t want to give the players he knows the bragging rights over him.
“You go in like I want to win this game because I don’t want him talking about this game the whole year,” Metellus said.
While Metellus is preparing to face the Gators, he also has a decision to make regarding the NFL Draft.
“Right now I’m focused on this team and trying to keep everyone together,” Metellus said. “That’s a decision I’ve got to make with my family and I’m not really there yet.”
Metellus plans on getting his projection from the NFL and then making an informed decision.
Other than worrying about his NFL future, Metellus and the Wolverines will look at what went wrong against Ohio State.
“We have to watch it because whatever they did to us, everybody is going to try to do to us,” Metellus said. “We have to watch (the game), learn from that. Same with Penn State last year, whatever they did worked. We knew we had to fix those problems going into every week after that.”
Against Ohio State, Metellus said they couldn’t react fast enough. The Wolverines get a chance to learn from that loss and earn their 11th victory of the season in the Peach Bowl
“I feel like we have to keep doing what we’ve been doing all season,” Metellus said. “What we’ve been doing this season has been working for us. We won ten games. That’s two more than we did last year. I feel like if we keep doing what we do and focusing on what happened last game and try to fix those things, I think we’ll be good.”